Badr Abdel Aziz, managing director at Oriflame Egypt, said that his company plans to have 500 franchises in the next five years, noting that it already has about 140 franchises across Egypt’s governorates.
Abdel Aziz mentioned to Daily News Egypt that Oriflame Global operates in 63 countries, with its biggest operations in China, Russia, Indonesia, India, and Turkey, adding, “we hope to continue our very positive growth in Egypt to soon be one of the big countries in the Oriflame world.”
Abdel Aziz sat down for an interview with Daily News Egypt to discuss the Swedish cosmetic company’s business in Egypt and its future plans. The transcript for the exchange is below, lightly edited for clarity.
Would you please tell me more about the geographical distribution of Oriflame’s branches?
At the moment, we have five branches in Heliopolis, Mohandessin, Maadi, Alexandria, and Mansoura. We also have a franchise concept, where our independent consultants can open a service point to deliver our products. We have approximately 140 of these in governorates all over Egypt, in Upper Egypt, the Delta, North Coast, Sinai, and all the big cities. This concept has been very successful from a distribution perspective, as we now cover all governorates, and our strategic plan is to have 500 of these franchise/service points in the next five years.
How are sales developing annually and what are your goals?
2017 was the best year ever for Oriflame Egypt in terms of sales, and we are very positive that we will continue that trend, both this year and in the future, thanks to an Egyptian market that is very interested in high-quality Swedish products and in the strong income opportunity that we offer.
How do you assess Oriflame Egypt’s position compared to competitors in the market?
Very hard to tell, as the information from our competitors is quite limited, but as mentioned above, we had a record sales year in 2017.
How do you depend on online purchasing?
Online is definitely the future and we see a bigger and bigger interest in online purchasing from the market. We have seen a big change in customer behaviour during the last few years, and the customer wants to decide how he orders and how he receives the order, and the easiest way to do that is online.
This is why we as a company are investing a lot in this area by having an up-to-date website, where you can easily get all required information, see our products and catalogue, and also place your order.
Social media like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp is becoming one of the main communication channels between customer and company, and it is important to always be available. We have also invested in different mobile applications, where you can get the same information as from our website, place your orders, and also see how a certain product looks to you.
How many products do you offer in the Egyptian market?
It differs from month to month, as we also try to add new exciting products every month, but approximately 700 in total.
How many people do you employ?
We employ about 170 persons.
Do you have planned marketing campaigns?
Since our business model is direct sales, where we depend on our independent consultants to sell our products, we have focused more on online and social media marketing campaigns in the last few years, as we see that this is the future.
How did the pound’s flotation affect Oriflame’s prices, especially since you import your products? How do you assess Egyptians’ purchasing power now?
Like many importing companies, we were of course affected and had to do some price adjustments. But since our business model is direct sales, where we depend on our independent consultants to sell our products, we tried to keep it at a moderate level to support them. The overall situation of the Egyptian economy looks much more stable now and we hope this continues of course.
Are there any corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities you implement or plan to?
We do a lot of CSR activities, as this is something we strongly believe in. We work with different organisations who want to help other people, and also add these CSR activities so that our consumers can take part and make a difference as well.